April 22, 2023

For years, the health and wellness industry has gone back and forth on whether coffee is beneficial for health. We now know that in many cases coffee is not harmful to health but may be beneficial in the right amounts. Whether you start your day with a caffeine buzz or prefer an afternoon coffee pick-me-up, coffee can be a healthy part of your daily routine.

The energy jolt we typically feel from drinking a cup of coffee comes from caffeine – a naturally occurring stimulant typically found in coffee beans. While too much caffeine can cause issues with our health like dehydration, high blood pressure or anxiety, coffee does contain antioxidants that may affect insulin sensitivity, inflammation and metabolism.

While your daily cup of Joe may give you the warm fuzzies, watching how many cups you have per day is essential for the best health. Health benefits from drinking coffee are most closely associated with less than four 8-ounce cups per day. Further, caffeine consumption should be limited to less than 200 milligrams per day during pregnancy.

Caffeine isn’t the only thing that could put a damper on your health when it comes to drinking coffee. Here are some tips to help make sure your coffee is helping, versus hindering, your health:

✓ Start your day with water first, then follow with coffee. Coffee is well known to boost energy levels and is the preferred beverage in the mornings for this reason. Water can also have the same benefits. Start the day with at least 8 to 16 ounces of water to help hydrate your body, start your digestion and give you a boost of energy before grabbing that cup of coffee.

✓ Coffee is NOT breakfast. Coffee and water are not the only things that give us energy – food does too! Starting your day with a high-protein breakfast with a side of coffee helps regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism and decrease cravings later in the day and evening.

Examples of a well-balanced breakfast with your cup of coffee include:
• Good Measure Bar + Hard Boiled Egg(s) + Piece of Fruit
• Catalina Crunch Cereal + Sliced Banana + Fairlife Milk
• Fairlife Yogurt + Catalina Crunch Cereal + Sliced Nuts + Blueberries

✓ Be cautious of added sugar. One of the biggest ways coffee becomes unhealthy fast is through flavoring through syrups, creamers and sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of added sugar daily, and many coffee beverages and creamers can have anywhere from 14-20 grams of added sugar per serving. Switch to a zero-calorie sweetener, like RxSugar, for a sweet taste without any added sugars or calories.

Making healthy switches to your daily routine like the ones recommended above can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be hard! Our dietitian team has created a Healthy Habits menu program which includes a 7-day meal plan including three meals and two to three snacks daily. The portions are aligned to fit your caloric needs and our program takes away the question of “What’s for dinner tonight?” For more information or to register visit: https://www.hy-vee.com/health/hy-vee-dietitians/default.aspx.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.